View Full Version : Who uses strobes, how many, and at what speed or rate?

09-14-2012, 01:06 AM
On average, how many strobes do you use, if any, and what speed do you usually set them to? Slow pulse? Medium? Fast?

I'm getting a general consensus on this cuz it ties into a particular circuit I'm working on.


PS: Yes, I know strobes usually have a pot and you can adjust the pulse on them.

Mr. Haunt
09-15-2012, 09:19 AM
Depends on where you use them, I use mine all the time but my haunt is outdoors.

When it comes down to how fast or slow depends on what you want. It's an open ended thing.

Mr. Haunt

09-16-2012, 09:47 AM
Depends on where you use them, I use mine all the time but my haunt is outdoors.

When it comes down to how fast or slow depends on what you want. It's an open ended thing.

Mr. Haunt

Well, yes, and I know that it's theme, effects, room design, and intent driven, and I have often made that point myself. But I was working on a particular strobe circuit design, and I was debating the practicality of certain design considerations, so I just wanted a ballpark figure and rough estimation.

For instance, if you were to do a Samara room, where the little girl (or other monster) steps closer to the patrons with each flash, then that would be a slow strobe setting. A sparkle room would probably use several strobes pulsing at different rates and out of sync with each other. A strobe hallway between scenes as a palate cleanser would be another use. So design wise, it really depends on the specific use, and situation is unique.

However, that said, if everyone shared their experiences and approach, I'm sure it would all average out to some particulars that we could draw from the general consensus that would make certain design considerations and preferences more apparent than others.

Iow, for instance, we might deduce that on average, a haunt might have one fast pulsing strobe, one slow pulsing strobe, and two to three medium pulsing strobes, and so on. The specific use of those strobes may very widely from haunt to haunt, with one room design substituting for another in one haunt over another, and one haunt might use them mostly in the beginning of the house, while some in the back, and some evenly spaced thru-out, but ultimately there are probably some numbers or averages we can deduce having.

Speaking of which, how many do you use, and how fast or how slow?


Greg Chrise
09-16-2012, 01:47 PM
I have been through lots of houses and there aren't very many strobes being used.

One I bought for began with buying 8 of the cheap ones at wholesale for $10 each and one good one, or rather expensiver one at $30. These same ones were used and every year maybe one would die until there were only 4 little ones and no one liked the bigger one.

Lots of haunts I have noticed there are absolutely none being used. Like they are only represented in some lightening effect or considered cheap home decorating crap.

In trying to build your own things, the damn bulbs alone are $20 a piece and being a cheap bastard, when the stobes or anything else dies I actually clip and save the 6 foot extension cords off the backs and throw the rest away.

I'm not sure who would buy the StobeMaster 5000 or what it would do? Maybe it does 6 locations from a central black box? Then for lots of square footage you would need 3 or 4 of these? You run into different cultures in haunt design. One I worked for at one time had a stage lighting and effects company and thought nothing of building a $1200 box with a programmer and thought this thing to be such proprietary knowledge that they never considered selling one of them. Then the programer over time was something antiquated that doesn't sound like the thing to be excited about in the modern world. For the most part I think most are in the boat of what can I do for $10 catagory and lets just stick one of these things here. So plugging in something and seeing it becomes the full level of lighting design. No big scare predetermination, no degrees in strobology and no skits that are totally dependent on some machine making or breaking a certain actors purpose. It's more like this is confusing so lets do this.

Then it is a money thing. Okay after quite a few years, there are only 4 of the $10 units still alive, I could get all focused and make sure I go buy out what ever is left on 50% day after halloween and restock, but the operators really dont care. So what am I haunted Santa Claus and show up every year with $50 more in strobe lights?

In summary, what ever you come up with is going to cost $100 to $150 for the magic box and $30 per location and there is going to have to be a tremendous education media on what you even use these things for in order to make a product. Plus as far as strobes go, we are losing more and more stripper bars and they each only have one. Now the bulbs are used in every vehicle that has blinky lights for some kind of self important look of authority and they are planning on making it a country wide police state so blinky lights for cars as official vehicles might sell?

That's all I know, the Tiawanese and the shipping magnets of the world are getting them here with a cord, a little resistor switch, a bulb, a reflector backing and a case for $9 whole sale. They sell for $18.50 to $23.00 retail and they last a decade. If there was an application for the Strobe Master 5000, you would just hack 6 of those units maybe and put the circuits in a box maybe. Or maybe just the resistor switch is remotely available in a control room or something?

I do have a few infared spot light units hacked so things come on when people get to a certain point in a room that the strobe thing doesn't happen all the time but that is about it as far as high tech goes. Those also were bought for about $9 each and I still have two here to make back ups that have never needed to be replaced. Recently I kind of had an epiphiny that there are people that focus on different specialities. After years of being beat around, some focus on acting and everything an actor needs to have or make, others focus on the physical haunt build and codes and financial plan of whether that is sustainable or not. Others just wonder how many will show up with money in their hands. The bigger picture is that in a single haunt or in the entire industry, there has to be a certain intellegence to know you have to support the catagories you are not dominant in. Let them do their thing, even find them things that provide some fraction of an income. So if you are marketing something you have to somehow appeal to all 3 of those catagories and they somehow need to care or allow what every you are about to pass their sense of importants.

Greg Chrise
09-16-2012, 02:04 PM
Pretty sure the stobe circuit was patented by either Thomas Edison or Nicola Tesla and stolen by General electric in 1890 or so. Now there are annoying blinky lights everywhere warning of something. Some unnammed genius had them made in the 80s in Tiawan and they sell wholesale as a whole unit for $9. The American unit sells for $50 to $120 depending on how many middle men there are and how important it is supposed to be. It comes in a metal case with a fan and a black texture paint job. The plastic ones never needed a fan because they don't have metal to heat up. So things got crazy somewhere.

Maybe you have something by designing specific applications that use strobes for specific scare scenes or incorporate it into a prop where you don't really need a case at all. Pretty much you would have to form the Association for the Use of more blinky lights and why you need them society. The AULS of America and become the grand poohbah of strobology to sell one $9 unit at a mark up. Or rather sell a whole haunted house and it comes with strobe lights and then you make your mark up. You have to design the society, not the circuit?

Jim Warfield
09-16-2012, 05:21 PM
Might be something like 1200? 1200 flashes per/minute and some people will tell you that they now hear music. "Music" of the angels? Going back to the dawn of all creation when music was created to therein eventually created everything else, including anal music ala-Taco Bell!
Just remember that strobes can set off seizures and people will be hitting the floor with their chins as a stiff-legged fall happens from such things versus knees buckling.
All of theses things were told to me 20 years ago by a nurse from New York who ran a brain-scan machine for a hospital there.
I have always tried to not blind, deafen or make my customers dizzy, or puke-up sick or chitt their pants, all "Bad Show" to my way of thinking since I live in the house.